Hyperlocal Govcamp West Midlands

Hyperlocal Govcamp West Midlands is an unconference for local government with an added hyperlocal flavour, taking place in Walsall on 6 October 2010.

The background to the event is ongoing innovation in public sector digital communications through means such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This event is a chance to listen, learn, exchange ideas, talk and contribute to sessions on best practice.

It’s also a chance to learn more about the rapidly emerging field of open data from the perspective of local government officers and web developers.

An unconference is an event where the agenda is developed collaboratively before the event and on the day itself. Attendees take part in deciding what the event will cover and can run sessions themselves.

The event is open for people across the public sector as well as web developers and hyperlocal bloggers.

Related links

Live blogging the Observatory’s Annual Conference

West Midlands: Fit for the Future?Our 2009 Annual Conference, titled West Midlands: Fit for the Future?, takes place tomorrow in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham.

You can keep up-to-date with comments and tweets about the conference as it unfolds on the day using this CoverItLive liveblog (replay the liveblog here).

You can add comments directly in the liveblog itself or by sending a tweet containing the hashtag #wmroconf09.

All the content surrounding the conference—slides, photos, useful links, videos, blog posts, tweets, and so on—is being aggregated on this Pageflakes. Again, tag any content you want to share with wmroconf09.

The conference is on Tuesday, 20th October. The liveblog will open at 10am.

Follow ‘Sharing Information Digitally’ event live

You can keep up-to-date with comments and tweets about this event as it unfolds on 7th October using this CoverItLive page.

You can add comments through the CoverItLive page or by sending a tweet containing the hashtag #wmrosid.

All the content surrounding the event—photos, useful links, videos, blog posts, tweets, and so on—is aggregated on this Pagecast. Again, tag any content you want to share with wmrosid.

The event is on Wednesday, 7th October 2009. Attendees are arriving from 9:30am and we’ll get underway at 10am, which is when the CoverItLive page will open.

Summary of data, mashups and APIs event

Birmigham Social Media CafeLast Wednesday, I went to an event at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham to explore innovative, useful and important applications of data.

The event — titled Data, Mashups and APIs — was organised by Birmingham Social Media Cafe and sponsored by The Guardian, Barefoot Wine and Screen WM.

I won’t try and summarise the whole event. A huge amount of material was covered and Chris Unitt has already posted this very detailed round up pulling together all of the talks and links.

However, I thought I’d pull out a couple of highlights.

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Observatory hosting event on sharing information digitally

Cutout figures connected by green light

The Observatory’s Population & Society Group is hosting an event exploring the whys and hows of making public data more accessible. We’ll also look at using social media to improve sharing data and information.

This full-day event will be held in Birmingham on 7th October. With speakers from the Guardian’s Free Our Data campaign, Lichfield District Council, Digital Birmingham and We Share Stuff, this will be an informative and practical day for anyone involved in data and information sharing in the West Midlands.

(Updated 5th Oct: the event is now fully booked).

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LocalGovCamp unconference for local government

LocalGovCamp an unconference for local governmentLocalGovCamp is an unconference for local government being held in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios on 20 June 2009.

The event will be will be a gathering of people interested in how local government needs to adapt to a world of social networks and data sharing.

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Better ways to share information digitally

Green human figures connected by blue lines

The Observatory’s Population & Society Group is planning a seminar in the summer to investigate and discuss how research organisations in the West Midlands can get better at sharing information digitally. Do you have any thoughts on this?

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Digital Mentors: invitation to tender

Communities and Local GovernmentThe Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) are inviting individual organisations and consortia to bid to co-ordinate the development of a network of ”Digital Mentors” to help people in deprived communities in England develop skills in using social and community media.

More details on the invitation to tender and the role of digital mentors—including an Expression of Interest form and workshop details for those interested in tendering—are available from Communities and Local Government (doc, 136kb).

There is also a discussion forum for further debate on the Digital Mentors initiative.

70 posts and onwards: WMRO’s social media journey

Students at Aston University with laptopThis Observations site was started at the end of July 2008. The main reason for the site, as the tagline at the top suggests, is to highlight, comment on and signpost to data and intelligence relating to the West Midlands.

After three months and 70 posts, it seems like a good time to quickly review what has happened and gather some ideas on going forward.

It”d be great to learn if the posts written so far on Observations are interesting to you? Are we writing about the right topics? Are there specific topics that we’re not covering that you think should be discussed? Please do add your comments.

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